Superuse Studios transforms existing flows and resources into urban ecosystems.

Superuse Studios believes it is possible to make a difference. They believe that by employing current resources, materials, and systems, they can build innovative, attractive, and practical architectural and social design solutions. Everything is already present; we only need to notice and use it. In this approach, they may transition to a more sustainable society while reducing the environmental effect of building and design. They call it SUPERUSER when they use locally obtained ‘trash’ in innovative design ideas. Their fundamental concepts are functionality, sustainability, and beauty.

Jos de Krieger has worked in architecture since 2006, specializing in unique architecture and design built using leftover and waste materials.

Tedtalk for Architects: Architecture that sees beauty in waste by Jos de Krieger - Sheet1
buitenplaats brienenoord  _©Superuse Studio

Need to Address Trash Generated 

The negative ecological consequences of climate change have a long history of human disregard for natural landscapes, particularly regarding the issue of garbage. Throughout history, streets, rivers, lakes and landfills, among other things, have all acted as containers for our trash. These behaviors have had far-reaching consequences, often leading to diminishing ecological landscape health and individual well-being. We commonly look to political institutions and laws to address environmental challenges, but most suggestions remain general and restrictive, restricting the range of solutions that may be implemented.

The building sector has an unmistakable influence on the environment. For the execution of a task, enormous amounts of resources, materials, water, and energy are exploited, processed, and consumed, and the usable life of buildings is limited. According to the International Construction Council (Conseil International du Bâtiment – CIB), civil construction is the human sector that consumes the most natural resources and uses the most energy. Its impact is compounded by inefficient manufacturing methods, significant supply relocation, and excessive waste during various stages of development. There are several concerns to address in order to make our planet more sustainable and efficient. However, as architects, what are our options?

Upcycling Building Materials

Building recycling is a healthy green activity that emphasizes the significance of sustainability. This is a triple-impact invention: economic, environmental, and social. The primary objective is to ensure long-term sustainability. Architects must design structures with the aforementioned criteria in mind. Architects must learn to be curators of the built environment rather than just producers, which requires new skills, knowledge, and attitudes towards environmental challenges. Recycled materials such as glass bottles and waste plastics may be utilized to build economical shelters ranging from homes to yurts. With a global glut of rubbish, constructing with garbage is the way of the future.

Reusing windows, wood, steel, cables, and other salvaged materials from industries or buildings have the advantage of “keeping the embodied energy as low as feasible,” according to de Krieger. In other words, you make the best use of the product and the energy invested in its creation. Legacy goods of long-term worth and cultural significance are revived. “It’s a shame these materials weren’t acknowledged as good grades. There was a lot of promise. “A lot of it was high-quality inland woods… woods that you can’t obtain anymore, that has now just been sent to landfill,” he says. Superuse Studio used this principle while designing a large Netherlands mansion of steel beams salvaged from an abandoned textile mill. De Krieger said there was a missed opportunity in Christchurch when 8000 buildings were removed, and the rubble was dumped. De Krieger is participating with, a global database for designers of woods, metals, textiles, and other found materials.

Adaptive Reuse 

We live and develop in an environment thickened by years of construction and deconstruction to accommodate extraordinary population increase and intended consumption. Our carbon economy, which is mainly based on the usage of fossil fuels, is the backbone of our modern landscape, made possible by systems of capitalism that permeate every area of existence. Our environment has been constructed and defined, yet we continue seeking new territories to alter and mould. Finally, we must accept the prospect that the architect’s duty will be to work with the old – to give facelifts, strategic assessments, and ways of reuse at every scale. Our architectural heritage necessitates more significance in practice and conversation.

Theoretical classes offer us creative answers to our environmental problems.

Landscapes also address several other socioeconomic problems, but this resolve needs to be recovered regarding industry-based applications. According to Elisa Iturbe’s course titled Overcoming Carbon Form2, architecture’s key role in the climate catastrophe necessitates a major reframing of our notion of energy. An active understanding of our contemporary energy paradigm, as described by WHAT WE BUILD: ADAPTIVE REUSE -10- The abundance of energy in the form of fossil fuels contributes to the need for a move away from a carbon economy and requests that we avoid the continuous generation of carbon forms in our building.

Google campus in Los Angeles_©


The TEDx Christchurch talk by Joe De Krieger, Architecture That Sees Beauty in Waste, provides a holistic picture of how we can keep sustainability in check. By using a harvest map, we can find resources to upcycle waste building material and be innovative in how to incorporate the material into products and use it as a building material, as well as what the various possibilities exist in the adaptive reuse of these materials.


Swinnen, L. (2016) Sustainable design pioneer in New Zealand to talk turning waste into wonders, Stuff. [online]Available at:  (Accessed: March 18, 2023). 

Jos De Krieger (no date) TEDxChristchurch. [Online]Available at:  (Accessed: March 18, 2023). 


Amrutha is an architect and designer based in Bangalore. She is a voracious reader and believes that architecture is similar to a narrative that slowly unfolds in time and space. As an avid traveller she finds thrill in serendipitous encounters.